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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teeth!

Mira's got teeth! Her two bottom front teeth are just poking through. I tried to get a picture of them. If you double click on the picture to enlarge it, then you should be able to see them more clearly.

I have to give credit to Brian for noticing. I hadn't realized that they were there yet, just that Mira's nursing was slightly less comfortable than normal. Brian had his finger in her mouth last night and felt them and showed me.

One of the moms from my playgroup had told me that she cried when her baby got his first tooth. She said that she was sad because she was never going to have his little gummy smile ever again. I didn't have that reaction, though. My response was to be so proud of Mira because I didn't even really notice that she was fussy or grumpy. She just cut those teeth right through like a little soldier. What a brave girl!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Eating update




Mira's now had avocado, banana, and baby oatmeal. She really likes eating. She'll open her mouth to signal that she wants another bite, and sometimes it feels like you can't fill her mouth fast enough because she wants more more more. She's swallowing much more than she's spitting back out and she very very rarely chokes or coughs. She seems to enjoy new flavors and textures, and I know that she likes eating with us while we're eating. She's also getting quite proficient at her sippy cup. At least once a day, I'll prepare a little meal for her when I'm making a meal for me. And I've gotten pretty good at feeding her in her highchair and also feeding myself at the same time.

I'm being really careful about what food she's given. When picking out her oatmeal, I made sure to find a brand that had absolutely no ingredients other than organic oat flour. (We mix this with a little breastmilk. She's also had it with some banana, which she totally loved.) One of the next foods that I want to try is apple, but I'm going to make my own applesauce rather than buy it because that way I know for sure that the only thing in it is apple. (You know how food companies love to put sweeteners or preservatives or artifical flavors or colors or who knows what into applesauce...) Same thing with pears, which is another food that she can have this early. And maybe I'm being a bit paranoid about it, but it makes me feel better knowing that everything I'm giving her is natural and pure.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Milk machine temporarily out of order

Yesterday I got the dreaded plugged milk duct. Over the past couple of days, Mira had been fussing when nursing. Looking back, I think it might have been because she was having trouble pulling the milk down. So midday on Friday, my right breast was rock hard and throbbing with pain. I was desperately trying to get Mira to nurse on it, but she was already so frustrated. She was crying and I was hurting and this feeling of utter desperation just came over me. That is when I discovered that if you really want the baby to stop crying, you could try crying yourself. She had never seen me like that before and thought it was very interesting.

When I finally decided that I needed help, I called Brian at work and asked him to come home early. Such a great husband, he heard my voice and said, "I'm on my way right now." When he got home, he took Mira to the pool to get her good and hungry while I rested with the hot pad on my chest. Mira got back and was hungry, but couldn't seem to get anything from my plugged side. When she got too frustrated to try anymore, I let her have the other side.

After that I tried pumping, but I was so plugged up that I was getting nothing, even on the machine's highest setting. I wasn't sure if I should keep pumping even though no milk was coming because I wasn't sure if it was helping or if it was just going to further inflame the breast. So I started looking online to see if I could find an answer (by this time the doctor's office was closed, or I'd just have called my doc). I never found a conclusive answer, but I did come across this woman's blog post where she described her trials with one plugged duct right after another. Turns out that she was starving her baby and the doctors made her switch to formula when they found out that her baby was third percentile for body weight. I should not have read that blog, I think...

Friday night, Mira was up and hungry every two hours, which hasn't happened since she was a newborn. I didn't sleep well, but being up with her was not the main reason. That blog that I had read kept going through my head and I was laying there thinking, "My breast hurts, and I'm plugged on the right side, and my right side is my 'heavy hitter' when it comes to milk production, and she's waking up because she's hungry, and I'M STARVING MY BABY AND SHE'S GOING TO GET MALNOURISHED AND HER LITTLE LEGS AND BRAIN WILL STOP GROWING AND SHE'LL BE TWO FEET TALL FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE AND I'M TURNING MY DAUGHTER INTO A MENTALLY RETARDED MIDGIT!"

Sometimes I think I worry too much.

So in the morning, Brian got up to mow the lawn and Mira and I, still tired from our long night, laid in bed nursing on and off, sleeping on and off until noon. Toward the end of the morning in bed, I was half-dozing and Mira was half-nursing, and my breast felt cold. And then tingly. And I looked down at Mira and her eyes were wide and she was gulping as fast as her little mouth could gulp and looking at me like "The flood waters are rising! Start bailing!" And slowly the painful pressure let up. I don't think I've felt such pure physical relief since the day Mira was born.

When we finally got out of bed after noon, we were both in a great mood. We had slept all morning, Mira had a full tummy for the first time in 24 hours, and I was pain-free for the first time in 24 hours. It seems odd to me that just yesterday I was feeling so upset. It kind of feels like it must have been a bad dream or something because now that it's cleared up we're both in such a good mood.

It might be strange, but I feel this intense gratitude to Mira. I was hurting and the only one who could help me was her. And she never gave up on me. She kept trying and trying and eventually she was my salvation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Story time

I try to read to Mira every day, but sometimes I feel like it takes four hands.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Eating, Part 2

So when Brian opened the avacado on Father's Day morning, he knew exactly what it was for and said, "I get to feed the baby??? Yay!"

So I mashed a slice of the avacado up with a fork and Brian stuck her in the highchair and put her bib on. At first Brian was so excited to feed her that he wouldn't even wait for me to come over to manage the camera for him. So this first video he's trying to feed her and hold the camera at the same time, which is why the view keeps drifting.

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After that I took the video while he fed her.

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If you watch for it, you'll see that she was doing this little shudder thing when she'd swallow. It was really funny.

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She took to it really well. She swallowed a lot more than I thought she would. By the end, she was opening her mouth to signal that she wanted another bite.

So I think we'll try avacado a few more times this week, and maybe next week we'll try introducing another food. I'm thinking banana.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eating, Part 1

Mira's been showing lots of signs of being ready to try some solid foods. For a couple of weeks now, she's been reaching for our food and doing this thing where she immitates our chewing. See below.

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Brian started practically begging to let her try some foods, and I would play the "bad cop" and say, "No food for my baby! Mommie's milk is all that she needs for now." And Brian would respond by saying that we should just start letting her taste a few things so she can get used to them. And I would argue back that he wasn't going to be the one having to clean those diapers. Not to mention the mess that she would make on herself, her highchair and the floor.

Over the last week, we had this exact conversation several times. And I started giving it some thought. She really was showing all the signs of being ready to eat. And with her being difficult about bottles, it might be best for her to get an early transition to solids so that we wouldn't have to deal with bottles anymore. And she's been developmentally early on so many other things...

All of this was running through my head. So I decided that I would give the gift of feeding to Brian for Father's Day. I told him that I wanted to go ahead and get her highchair so that she could start getting used to it. He gave me the money and I found one I liked and brought it home. He and I assembled it while Mira watched. The next couple of days she sat in her highchair while we ate and I let her try drinking water a lot more. She's now mastered drinking from the bottom end of a straw (where you put the straw in water, hold your finger over the end to keep some water in the straw, then move the straw into her mouth and release your finger to let the water fall into her mouth). And she'll drink pretty easily from a topless cup when it's held for her. And of course, she uses her sippy cup though she still needs help getting her hands on both handles and unless she's reclined she needs help getting the cup tipped back far enough.

So then Father's Day morning, I wrapped an avacado in gift wrap and put it with the rest of Brian's gifts.

Stay tuned to find out what happened... (I'll post the rest of the story tomorrow.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sitting.

Mira's getting better and better at sitting up. She can now sit unassisted for brief periods, and sitting with assistance is easy as pie for her. Here are some pictures that Brian took of her sitting without any help. He managed to get a lot of cute expressions from her also, which is why I'm posting so many...







Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mira and Daddy playing.

Some cute videos of Mira with her Daddy. He makes her laugh so much.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mira's first sippy cup adventure.



Today Mira tried a sippy cup for the first time. It just had cold water in it. It was amazing how fast she figured out what this was for. I put the spout in her mouth, and she immediately sucked and put her hands up to hold the handles. Of course, half of the water that she got out of it ended up on her bib rather than in her belly, but as far as first experiences go, I'd say this was pretty successful. In a month or so, we'll start trying some foods other than breastmilk, so it's good to know that we could do apple juice in a sippy cup.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beach trip.

So the reason that I haven't posted in a while is that Mira and I have been at the beach. We went to Port Aransas with my parents and my sister. It was really nice to get out of the house and have lots of new things to do.

Our hotel was right on the beach, with just a short boardwalk over some sand dunes to the ocean. So we took a couple of trips down to the beach. Mira seemed really interested by the beach. I held her so that she could stand up on the sand while the waves crashed around her legs. She thought that was really neat and she'd stomp her feet in the sand. The waves would wash her feet out from under her, but since I was still holding on to her torso she'd end up with her legs nearly doing the splits. It was pretty funny. My dad had caught some hermit crabs at the beach and took them up to the room to show everyone. Mira and I went with him to release them back into the ocean. When we released them, one of the larger hermit crabs stuck around for a while rather than making a run for it and Mira was watching him with big eyes.

We also made several trips down to the hotel's swimming pool. Mira LOVES to swim. Even when she was tired and hungry, she would still smile so big once we got in the pool. I took her into the shallow end of the adult pool with me. As I'd walk deeper and deeper, the water would reach her feet and she'd hold her feet up higher and higher to keep them out of the water. Then I'd slowly lower her in up to her shoulders. She'd quiver her chin for a second and then get this huge grin. I would drag her body through the water and she would start kicking her legs. She loved to watch me go all the way under or show her how to blow bubbles. She would deliberately put her chin into the water. She'd splash with her hands, look startled when the water would splash onto her face, and then put her hand into her mouth to taste the pool water. (Gross, I know, but what are you gonna do? Tell a 4-month-old "please don't drink the pool water"? Yeah cuz that'll work...)

While we were out there, we went to the Corpus Christi Aquarium. They had these underwater viewing areas for both the sea turtles and the dolphins. Mira enjoyed both. For a while. Not long enough to watch the entire dolphin show, but that's just the attention span of an infant. She really liked walking through the aquarium, looking at all the different habitats and all the different fish. She enjoyed any place that she could get right up to the glass and see lots of movement and colors. They had a saltwater tank with some blue angels, yellow tangs, and clownfish which seemed to be her favorite. Of course that could have had something to do with the fact that every few seconds a kid would run up to the tank and go, "Look Mom, it's Nemo!" Mira likes watching other kids about as much as she likes watching fish.

I was nervous about making the 4-hour drive alone with her. (I met my parents down there because they stayed longer than I did.) But the drive there and back was actually really smooth. Mira slept the entire time on the way down. Even when I had to stop for gas and a potty break. (Yes, I was that bad mom that left her baby in the car while she went inside to pee. But she was sleeping and the car was in the shade and I was only gone for a minute and [insert other typical bad mom excuse here] and she was fine anyway and still sleeping when I got back and never even knew I was gone.) On the way back, she woke up after about an hour in the car. So we stopped at a fast food place and changed her diaper and nursed. Then I put her back in the car seat and kept driving. A couple of times she woke back up, but I have this trick where I roll down the windows and it puts her right back to sleep. I'd rather deal with the heat from the windows rolled down than listen to a crying baby. And once she fell back to sleep I could roll the windows back up anyway. So I was pleasantly surprised at how well she travelled.

You might remember from a previous post that I was having issues with sunblock and swim diapers. Well, I checked some online mommies' forums about the sunblock, and the general consensus seemed to be that Banana Boat Baby was the way to go for tear-free sun screen. So we used that on this trip, and it was soooooo much better. No eye stinging at all. Yay. And thanks to Marcy's tip, I figured out how to rip the sides of the swim diapers to get them off more easily. So thanks Marcy.

The only item that I forgot to bring on the trip was my camera. I was so mad at myself for forgetting it! And my parents didn't bring one either. So no pictures from the beach. And it's really too bad because Mira looked so cute in her swim suit and sun hat and sun glasses.

This trip really brought home for me how much I NEED to get our pool tags so that we can go to our neighborhood pool, which is only 3 blocks or so away. So I'm supposed to go pick up our tags later today, then Mira and I can start making afternoon trips to the pool on the weekdays when there's nothing else exciting to do. She naps so much better after being in the water. Once we have our tags, we can walk down to the pool to get good and hot, then play in the water to cool off, then walk home while we drip dry. Then Mira can take a nice nap while I shower. Sounds fun! And I promise to get some pictures the next time she's all dolled up for the pool. You will die from the cuteness.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pink bunny jedi

The force is strong with this one.

Mira puts her foot in her mouth.

Literally, not figuratively.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sleep and duck pond and cuteness.

So it figures that after yesterday's post, last night was completely different.  Mira went to bed early.  She woke up once in the middle of the night, but put herself back to sleep without me having to get out of bed.  And then she woke up at 6:45am, which is only 15 minutes early.  If only every night were that good.  

But there is one bad thing about the baby sleeping 11 hours straight: in the morning I felt like my boobs were going to burst.  I've felt full before, but never like that.  It was painful.  And messy: when she started nursing on one side, they both let down.  Alot.  

I know, I know.  The baby slept 11 hours straight.  If I complain about any aspect of that for too long, I am liable to be dragged out and beaten by every other mother to read this.  So I'm shutting up about it now.

Today Mira and I took a walk to the nearby duck pond.  We were there for like an hour and a half because Mira was enjoying it so much.  We came across a little boy and his dad.  The boy was 2.  He thought Mira was so interesting that he joined us for a bit of our walk.  I had brought a few slices of bread to feed to the ducks.  So we found a nice shady spot where a bunch of ducks were resting and stopped to feed them.  Once the ducks figured out that I had food, I was promptly surrounded.  If they'd gotten violent, it could have been ugly for me.  Luckily, they were just pushy, not vicious.  I offered to let the little boy feed them some, but he knew better.  I wished that I had remembered to bring my camera, but I didn't so I don't have any pictures.  I'll have to go back another time with the camera.  

And now for some completely unrelated cuteness:





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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Change in the nighttime routine.

For a couple of weeks now, Mira has been waking up in the middle of the night.  From the time she was about two and a half months right up to four months old, she had been going to bed around 10pm and waking around 7am and sleeping all the way through.  But for the last two weeks or so, she'll wake up once around 3am.  And now for the past few days, her bedtime has become gradually earlier and earlier until today when she went to bed at 8pm.  But her wake up time has stayed constant at 7am.  

I've read that this happens very commonly: where the baby goes through a period of sleeping all the way through the night at a young age, and then later starts having midnight wakings.  

So I'm not sure if I should be working on cutting out that midnight waking.  On one hand, getting out of bed in the middle of the night is kind of obnoxious.  And I certainly don't want it to get worse to where she's up more than once each night.  But on the other hand, it's actually really nice to have her go to bed this early.  And if that means that I have to get up once for 20 minutes in the middle of the night in order to have an extra 2 hours each evening baby-free, then I think I'm happy to make that trade-off.  

I just really really really don't want it to get any worse (aka, more frequent midnight wakings).  And I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing by immediately addressing her needs when she wakes up in the middle of the night.  I've started waiting a few minutes: I'll hear her stirring, but she's not yet agitated so I'll give her some time to see if she'll put herself back to sleep.  She usually won't and when I can tell that she's working herself up to crying, then I'll go in and change her if needed and then nurse her back to sleep.  

Personally, I don't believe in the cry-it-out method.  I want Mira to have complete trust in me and know that I will always be there for her.  So that route is not an option.  But I wonder if maybe I should not be nursing her back to sleep.  She sometimes seems to rely too much on nursing in order to fall asleep, and sometimes she's so tired in the middle of the night that she just takes a few sucks and then falls right back to sleep.  So that makes me think that maybe I should try to just rock and pat her when she wakes in the middle of the night.  But for sure, nursing is the fastest way to get her back down, so it's so easy to just do whatever gets me back in bed fastest.  

Eh.... I'm sure that if I'm not messing her up in this manner, then there is some other thing that I am doing to ensure that she'll have lifelong mental scarring.  So maybe I should just quit worrying and do what comes naturally (which is what I've been doing up to this point).  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mira's first trip to the lake.

We took Mira to the lake for the first time.  My grandparents have a vacation home on Lake Travis and we went to see them when they were last there.  We were going to take her to the swimming pool up there, but it was closed for repairs.  So we went down to the lake instead.  The place we swam from had a nice sandy beach with a gradual slope.  Not rocky at all.  At first she wasn't so sure about swimming.  (She'd never been in any body of water larger than a bathtub.)  After a while in the water I got out with her and nursed her sitting on the shore.  After that, she really perked up to the whole experience.  She started splashing and playing.  It was really great to see how much she enjoys the water.  Brian was showing her how to blow bubbles.  Every time his head would go under the water her eyes would get really big and both her hands would come up to excitedly smack the water or the top of Brian's head.  It was totally cute.  


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Only bad thing:  I was terrified that she would get a sunburn, so I slathered her with sunscreen.  I used Coppertone Water Babies on Mira and myself.  I got a little in my eye and it totally burned my eye.  I think some got into her eyes too because her eyes were all watery and she was trying to rub at them, which only made it worse because of the sunscreen on her hands and she got a little fussy about the whole thing.  At least there were no sunburns to speak of.  I don't think I'll ever use that kind of sunscreen on her again, though, due to the eye stinging.  I checked some online mommies' forums and the general concensus seemed to be that Banana Boat Baby Sunblock was the way to go for tear-free protection.  So I got some of that at Target today.  I have yet to test it out...

The swim diapers I had were too big.  I got the smallest size, but even the smallest size is intended for babies 16-25 pounds.  Mira is only 14 pounds.  So I put on her one piece bathing suit instead of her two piece in the hopes that the suit would help hold the diaper on.  That seemed to work ok.  I guess Huggies thinks that babies under 16 pounds are not supposed to swim???  And then here's the thing with these swim diapers: there's no side tabs to adjust how tight the diaper is.  They're like pull-ups.  Luckily, Mira didn't have a poopy while we were swimming, but if she had there would have been a huge mess as we tried to get the diaper off because the diaper ended up completely inside out once I got it off of her.  How are you supposed to work those things anyway?  Not too well designed, Huggies.  Send that one back to the drawing board, I say.  For over a dollar per diaper, you expect quality.  (Normal disposable diapers are less than a quarter each.)  

Anyway, overall a super fun experience worth repeating.  Now I need to get my pool tag so that we can spend afternoons in our neighborhood pool.